A question of form. What constitutes form and what does it mean to writers, how does it affect meaning, tone and shape content?
The form of a piece of writing is ultimately the structure it adheres to and how it is organised on the page or screen. In poetry especially, writers are able to practice technique by writing in traditional form, as others before them have. An example of this would be practicing writing in Iambic Pentameter, a structure used in poetry by William Shakespeare. By replicating the structure of another writers piece the writer is able to manipulate the intended meaning and overall message of the piece.
For example, works by literary greats such as Shakespeare- tend to stick to complex structures. Readers are then able to identify the works of an individual, without knowing the ownership of a piece, through the replication of these structures. Use of these structures may also portray and demonstrate the knowledge of a writer, as the ability to follow such complex structures and write using these in a complex manner, takes knowledge and intelligence. A piece of writing is likely to be viewed superior to the next if it follows a traditional form, rather than work in note form which may appear to be simple and basic, which may represent the writer behind the work.
The meaning of a piece can also be altered through manipulation of form, such as the difference between writing in prose and blank verse. An example of the manipulation of these forms would be in Shakespeare’s play Othello, Shakespeare uses form to show the difference between two characters within the play- Othello and Iago. Shakespeare’s use of prose and blank verse within his plays portrays the control, or lack of- which a character may have at a particular time within a scene of the play.
The tone of a piece of writing normally follows expectations of the style of writing and to suit the mode, genre, audience and purpose of the piece. The tone can be either objective or subjective, logical and realistic or emotional and romantic, comedic and fictional or intense and non-fictional. The piece can also consist of complex and compound sentences in prose or short simple passages in poetry, prose or script or a variation of both of these.
The tone is able to be adapted to the mode, genre, audience and purpose of the piece. The shape of a piece differs from the form and tone, as it is how the writer themselves shapes and constructs the piece.
In week 1 of Writers on Writing, various forms were introduced including Wabi-Sabi and Beat poetry. An example would be our first excercise which was a list of our current thoughts, followed by going outside downstairs and creating a further list focusing on an item we had seen outside then turning this into a beat poem. These were all spontaneous, allowing for full creative freedom.
List 1 (thoughts)- Euros, exchange places in Middlesbrough, bank, Amsterdam, ferry, ship, food, clock, time, ticking, other people, students, outside, air, roseberry topping, debenhams, walking, car, excercise, itch, restless, inconvenience, soap, toothpaste, implant, thinking about thinking, jobs, lies, trust.
List 2(Outside object)- Tree, branches, twigs, no leaves, winter, how it would be in summer, spring, autumn, transformation, shrub, stump, deforestation, paper, papyrus, The great library of alexandria, arab scholars, rome, disney, epcot, happiness.
Beat poem attempt 1-
Dear eldest branch, may you snap one day as your
Life span is complete, your leaves have bloomed,
Blossomed, you have transformed each season,
Though in each you change, you are a thing of beauty.
Life which produces the most important, paper,
From papyrus which we document on,
Enables us to read, write.
Centrepiece to the garden and building as you are to us,
Who live on earth in this life.